By Sal Bommarito
Donald Trump is attempting to change long-standing traditions of how Americans elect presidents. In the process of doing so, he’s using his newfound popularity to bully journalists who dare to ask him difficult questions.
After several months of listening to Trump blather about his plans to save America, I’ve run out of patience. I never took the man seriously during the past 30 years. His television show, “The Apprentice,” certainly didn’t improve my feelings about him.
His investments, especially those involving casinos, never really passed the smell test. There was always something sleazy about his tactics. He deftly used the bankruptcy courts to his advantage.
In real estate, he’s been a daring risk taker. Trump created great wealth, and tremendous financial stress along the way. I prefer not to do business with men who are anxious to bet the ranch, much less have them be my president. To his credit, he made a lot of money and has generated incredible notoriety.
His personality attributes brought Trump great accolades in recent days as he challenged, without tact and diplomacy, those who created current domestic and international problems. Every informed American knows about these issues. Yet, Trump has rammed them down our throats and verbalized feelings most Americans stifle in fear of being labeled a bigot or worse.
Once Trump perceived that he could say almost anything without damaging his burgeoning popularity, he treaded where no one has gone before. He said the U.S. should not allow Muslims from certain hot spots around the world to enter the country. He said he would bomb the sh-t out of ISIS. He said Mexico was exporting undesirables to the U.S. He called his opponents stupid and incompetent.
And now, Trump decided that voters are going to vote for him even if he shuns debates, which have been an important forum for presidential candidates to present their visions of America. He also said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters . . .” Trump thinks he has the election locked up and has challenged a group that doesn’t back down on any encroachment of their turf- the media, and FOX specifically. Kudos to FOX for standing up against Trump, despite the financial impact of the decision to retain Kelly as a moderator.
Megyn Kelly asked Trump some pointed questions in an earlier debate that set him off. Previously, he lauded Kelly’s skills as an interviewer, but turned on her when he thought she turned on him. Nobody is allowed to criticize Donald Trump without incurring his fury, including journalists.
It’s mind-boggling that Trump may get away with yet another outrageous attack on his adversaries. Some say his boycott of the debate could improve his polling.
Why would anyone vote for such an unusual person? Why would any world leader take such a man seriously?
It should be noted that Trump’s predictions and promises have not been supported with comprehensive plans. Using ISIS as an example. Will Trump, as president, order our military to bomb ISIS strongholds even if he knows thousands of innocent citizens will be killed? This is not an issue that can be swept aside, even for the Donald.
Iowa voters have always had a great impact on presidential elections. The most important reason is that the Iowa caucuses are first. A few hundred thousand Iowans, out of three million total population, are in a position to make a great statement when they vote on February 1. I don’t live in Iowa, and I’m insulted that Trump isn’t going to participate in the debate. Iowans should use this moment to make history.